Documentary,  Nature

Treatment for WILD in the Garden State

The WILD Garden
Before it got WILD

TREATMENT forWILD in the Garden State. Develop with this blog….documentary coming soon!


Wild in the Garden State is an exploration of what happens when a typical suburban lawn is transformed into a life-sustaining garden.

When Sarah and her husband move from New York City to their New Jersey home, they can’t tell the difference between crabgrass and switchgrass.

The existing garden includes a long rectangle of lawn outlined by shrubs and a white fence. In their first years of home ownership, the couple maintain their lawn while juggling fulltime work and a commute to the city.

Sarah’s husband, Dave is an Architect and hopes to transform their lawn into a designed landscape.

Sarah works as a video producer for the American Museum of Natural History where it’s her job to create media programs for exhibits. Many of her videos are about natural selection, biodiversity and ecology.

Four years into homeownership, Sarah and Dave dig out a section of their lawn and plant a small “pollinator garden” promoted by the Xerces Society and sold by Prairie Nursery as a way to “… attract a variety of bees and butterflies.”  They call it Bed Number One. 

In just a few months, Bed Number One attracts tiny sweat bees to large bumblebees, dragonflies, goldfinches as well as monarch butterflies.

Sarah and Dave are astonished…. these varieties of birds and insects hadn’t visited their garden before. They want to experience more of this.

They’d gone WILD in the Garden State.

Shot over five years, the story first presents an idyllic suburban lawn then quickly shifts gears as the lawn — and conventional garden care — is ripped out.

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